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February 2019

January 2019


Oh.  Mary.  You always had the words for me.
Thank you.


In Blackwater Woods
   --- Mary Oliver

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrances of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

In the Groove

So I think my brain is in a groove kind of thing these days with my knitting.

First, it was all those gnomes.

Then, I got into a hat thing.  (Two pink pussyhats special-ordered by a friend; one black hat special-ordered by Erin.)

Now?  I guess I'm in a dish cloth groove.


Two done, and I just cast on for another.

It'll pass.  It always does.  
(In the meantime, I need some new dish cloths . . . )

Headline News

You may remember that a couple of months ago, I explained that my son-in-law is "collecting" silly headlines for a little project.  

I've been passing along goofy headlines to him (even some that y'all have sent me) now and then.  Earlier this week, though, my daughter shared one with me.  Apparently a friend had sent it to Keith, and they thought I'd appreciate it.


Now I don't know about you, but if I were going to be banned from Walmart, I'd want it to go just like that!  (Living my best life, and all that.)  How about you?



Sometimes Mondays

. . . call out for poetry.


Starlings in Winter
 --- Mary Oliver

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly

They are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising;
they float like one strippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine

how they do it
with articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, than can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,

even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard.  I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.




Welcome, Friday!


Let's TGIF, shall we?

T - Thinking about . . . I'm still considering my plans and goals for 2019.  I usually stretch out my reviewing/planning process through the whole month of January.  Not only is it something I really enjoy doing (the reflecting back and the thinking ahead), but I think a broad time horizon gives me better perspective and really allows me to carefully consider what I feel like doing in the year ahead.  (Besides . . . January.  Not the most action-packed month of the year.)

G - Grateful for . . . Despite the fact that it is now crammed with January People, I am grateful for my gym.  It offers pretty much something for everyone, and lots of somethings for me.  I've made a lot of friends at the gym - which makes it a fun place to be, I've been challenged to try new (hard) things - which makes it good for my heart and soul, and I've always got plenty of workout options - which makes it easy to stay motivated.

I - Inspired by . . . I just started a new semester of art classes.  And this time . . . I decided to take TWO.  (This is an experiment; we'll have to see how this goes.)  I'm taking a drawing class AND a watercolor class.  Usually I just do one or the other, but this time, I couldn't resist.  (Now that I have a tidied-up art space, I'll have no excuses for not getting my homework finished, that's for sure!)

F - Fun . . . I have a movie date with Tom this afternoon!  It's almost Oscar-time, and there are lots of great movies to see right now.  (It's the best time of year at the movie theater.  Have you seen any good movies lately?)

Happy Friday, friends!  What's in store for you this weekend?

Every Damn Day

I have an Every Damn Day list . . . a list of things I do, well, every damn day.  

What's on my list?  Just little things.  But important things.  Things that begin and end my day with a good feeling.  Flossing my teeth.  Applying moisturizer.  Making my bed.  Stitching . Sun salutations.  Meditation.

Doing these things . . . every damn day . . . make me feel like I accomplished something, even when my plans go off the rails.  (As they do.)

I didn't always do these things every damn day.  But at some point, I decided these things needed to become good habits that I could hang my hat on.  (Some of them - the bed-making and the flossing, for example - have been daily habits for over 30 years now.  But others - the sun salutations and the meditation, for example - have been more recent additions.)

Here, at the beginning of the new year, I've decided it's time to add three new daily habits to my Every Damn Day list.

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1 - Drink more water.  And by that I mean enough water.  According to my calculations, I need to drink close to 90 ounces of water each day, based on my weight.  More on the days I work out strenuously.  That means filling up my favorite water bottle 6 times each day.  I have tried to establish this habit many, many times over the years.  It never sticks.  This year, I want it to stick.

2 - Make time to stretch.  Like . . . really stretch. . . after my workouts.  Current fitness science (yeah, there is such a thing) stresses the importance of proper stretching after working out.  In fact, they say that stretching should be part of any balanced workout -- as important as strength and cardiovascular training.  I've got the strength  and cardiovascular training parts down pretty well, but I'm quite lax when it comes to stretching.  This year, I'm wanting to up my stretching game.

3 - Daily sketching.  Like everything else in life, you get better at the things you practice.  I want to get better at doing quick sketches, which means I need to practice.  (That perfection thing gets in the way every time.)  My plan?  Set a timer for 5 minutes and just . . . sketch.  When the time goes off . . . done.  Just for me.  Just for practice.

There you have it.  Three things I want to add to my Every Damn Day list:  Sketch. Stretch. Water.

How about YOU?  Do you have an Every Damn Day list?  And what's on it?


(In the time it took me to write this blog post, I drank the all the water in my water bottle.)  (Just sayin.)


Be sure to head over to Carole's for more Three on Thursday posts.

Unraveling Backward (2018) and Forward (2019)

Looking back at my knitting in 2018 . . . it was All About the Fiddly!

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 7.30.18 AM

That's a screenshot of my Ravelry projects page for 2018 (the bottom right is X'd out because it was a 2017 finish).  A good year, all told.  There were 6 cowls/shawls/or wraps.  3 sweaters (including a vest)*.  2 hats.  2 pairs of mitts.  1 baby gift.  And . . . the fiddly stuff:

6 gnomes
2 monkeys
2 pumpkins
1 ornament

That's . . . a lot of fiddly for one year!  (And, really, that mitered-square shawl could fit into the fiddly category, too. . . )  

My favorite project of the 2018?


I love this sweater.  I wear it so often that it is now a pill-y mess.  But for this kind of everyday, workhorse of a sweater . . . that just adds to its charm!

(Runner-up is this shawl.)

My most-complimented project for 2018?  That would be this one . . . 


Being the Ravelry Cover-Girl for a couple of weeks really brought a lot of attention to my (fiddly) mitered-square shawl.  (And was that ever a big surprise.  Man . . . it is so weird to open up Ravelry and BAM!  There you are. . . )  (Just sayin.)  But even in real life, whenever I wear this shawl, people compliment.

My least favorite project of 2018?  That would be this cowl.  It's just too thick and too big and too chunky to wear.


What's ahead, knitting-wise, for 2019?  I don't set number-of-project goals for myself, but I do have a few goals and plans - and a pledge - for knitting in 2019.


  • Choose projects with more intention.  (Will I wear it?  Do I need it?  Do I already have yarn that would work?)
  • No mystery knits, KALs, or "banging out" anything.  (Be intentional.) (Be intentional.) (Be intentional.)
  • Knit what I feel like when I feel like it at whatever speed I feel like.  (Because knitting is for fun.)


  • I want to knit an oversized, cropped sweater.
  • I want to knit something with a colorwork yoke.
  • I need to knit another baby gift.
  • I need to replenish my dishcloth inventory.  (My mom used to keep me in dishcloths.  Sadly, I'm running out of the ones she knit for me.)
  • Turn the names I give my knitting projects (I name them all after songs) into a Spotify playlist.


  • In 2019, I will knit thoughtfully and with intention, and I will allow inspiration to guide me.


How about YOU?  What are your goals and plans for knitting (or making) in 2019?


Be sure to visit Kat today for more "unraveled" inspiration!


*(Oh.  And I never added my FAILED Carbeth to my projects page, so that's another sweater.)  (But let's just forget about that one.)

Creating Space

As I begin putting my plans and goals together for the year ahead, one thing that keeps bubbling up is . . . 

More doing.  Less thinking about it.

This can apply to lots of things in my life.  Because I am a bit of a day-dreamer.  I like to think about and plan and consider . . . sometimes so much that I actually run out of time for the doing!

And sometimes when I'm ready to start the doing, I can't.  Because my space for the doing is in such a state of, well . . . unreadiness . . . that I need to get over that hurdle before I can begin.  Really.  This is how it works for me.

Take my "art room" -- which is Brian's old bedroom, now luxuriously converted to my dedicated art space.


It's wonderful space to have.  But it tends to fill quickly . . . 

with glitter supplies from my glitter-balls project at the holidays
and glass discs from another holiday project
and sketch books
and drawing supplies
and painting supplies
and bits and bobs that have inspired me in some way
and random pieces of this or that that I might be able to use in some way

And when life gets busy, I don't take the time to Just. Put. Things. Away.

And that means that before I want to do ANYTHING related to drawing or sketching or painting or . . . even more glitter, I need to dig out and put away and create space.

(This happens in my sewing space, too.)

(Is it just me?  Or does this happen to you sometimes, too?)

Anyway.  This is my year of Intention.  My year to do what I set out to do.  On purpose.  Deliberately.  And that means creating (and maintaining) the space to DO.

I spent the weekend clearing out and organizing my art room.  



I am ready for the DOING now.


(And NEXT . . . I'll tackle my sewing space.)


Sometimes Mondays

. . . are for sunshine.


Well.  Maybe not THIS Monday.  Because THIS Monday is full of rain.  But we have had a lot of sunshine lately.  Unusual, unseasonable sunshine.  In fact, I took the photo above on Saturday -- when the sunshine was streaming in and making my library bookshelves glow.

So. . . I'm talking figurative sunshine.  Not literal sunshine.

Today, I'm going to bring sunshine into my day.  And maybe even to the day of those people around me.  Even though there won't be any REAL sunshine.

Sunshine . . . on a rainy Monday in dark January . . . is a frame-of-mind thing.
Happy Monday.  I hope your week is off to a fine start!

My One Little Word 2019

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.  What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.     --- Annie Dillard

I've been choosing a word for the year since 2011.  
That's eight words so far.  
(Move, Shine, Surprise, Possibility, Journey, Risk, Balance, Focus)  
Eight words that continue to stick with me, long after their year is up.

But none so much as Focus -- my 2018 word.  Focus . . . has brought about more thoughtful change and real, personal understanding of myself than any other word.  And I think I'm not quite finished with it yet!

Although I considered other words (because it's so much more exciting to have a fresh word for a new year), I kept rolling around to . . .  more of the same.  To the fact that there is probably more to this focus thing for me to discover.  And I decided to choose a word that kind of . . . links up to last year's word for me; a word that can allow for a further extension of my ongoing work on focus.

My word for 2019 is . . . INTENTION.

IMG_1343 2

As in purposeful, deliberate, thoughtful, considered.
How I want to act.
How I decide.
How I want to BE.

I'm eager to see where this one takes me!  It's like . . . focus . . . with MORE!

What you think, you become.
What you feel, you attract.
What you imagine, you create.
                               --- Buddha


How about YOU?  What's your word for 2019?
(I'll be linking up with Juliann to talk about our words on the last Tuesday of every month.  I hope you'll join us!)